The Battle that changed East End
Brick Lane Circle is delighted to announce that it has received a grant of £46,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to engage a group of young people (18-25) to explore East London’s historical links with Bengal through researching and writing about the area’s East India Company sites.
The project idea emerged out of the series of events that Brick Lane Circle organized in June 2007 to commemorate the 250 Years Anniversary of the Battle of Plassey (23 June 1757), when the British achieved victory in Bengal under Robert Clive. It was also the beginning of the British Indian Empire, under the banner of the English East India Company. The research findings will be put together in a publication, which will be launched during October 2008 Black History Month at a specially organized event at the Museum in Docklands. An exhibition illustrating the work of the young people, historical paintings and photographs and important documents will accompany the publication. The work of the young people will be made electronically available and an education pack will be developed.
The young people will undertake research on a number of East India Company sites in East London, an area dotted with important locations and buildings that have historical links with Bengal. It is also the home of the largest concentration of Bangladeshi people in the UK. The 250 Years anniversary events of the British conquest of Bengal (organized by Brick Lane Circle during June 2007) provided a focus for generating interest in learning about the shared heritage of East London. The young researchers will be primarily recruited from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and given workshops, guided tours, mentoring support and assistance in writing their chapters. These activities will help familiarise participants about important East India Company sites and their historical links with Bengal and provide guidance on the sources of information. Continue reading
Museum in Docklands, London, 13-14 March 2008
Deadline for call of papers: 17 October 2007
How do museums and more broadly the heritage sector engage with refugees and asylum seekers and the increased global focus on forced migration? The collective and individual voices of the people are rarely heard and often misrepresented in the media. Museums, academic research centres, non-government organisations and government departments/agencies now see the need to explore the cultural contributions to and impact of refugee and asylum seeker groups on urban and regional centres.
The conference aims to explore how museums and other heritage agencies are responding to complex ethical, legal, social and political issues. How can museums inform debate and, given recent trends in immigration and asylum polices, highlight international and national obligations to protect people from persecution?
These issues impact on the work practices of museums in terms of curatorial decisions, collecting strategies, partnerships, approaches to programming, as well as shared decision making in collaborative exhibitions and public events. Are museums agents and forums of cultural change or do they reflect social change? Is there a new role for museums in terms of cultural facilitation and mediation? Should museums be more proactive as places for cross-cultural exchange and developing understanding between ‘new’ communities and peoples of diverse backgrounds? Are there appropriate ethical codes of practice in place to facilitate these new agendas?
Join in a lively online debate about immigration, inclusion, and refugees at www.friction.tv
Three volunteers from 19 Princelet Street, the Museum of Immigration and Diversity, have uploaded three very different videos about these issues, and need your support to help make this a hot debate. To join the debate please visit:
International Field School in Museums & Sustainable Heritage Development
7-22 December 2007
Organised by the University of Queensland, Australia Museum Studies Program.
Deadline for applications: Friday, 5 October 2007
The International Field School in Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development offered by the Museum Studies Program at UQ aims to provide first-hand experience to graduate students and Professional Development Program participants in locating culture in sustainable development in a rapidly globalising world. Museums and heritage places of all kinds are considered in the context of sustainable economic, environmental and social development, with a focus on documented case studies and real-life examples in Vietnam. Participants will consider how museums, cultural institutions, and heritage tourism can play a role in the revitalization of local culture and economy, and how international conventions for heritage protection, governance structures, and local area planning intersect within holistic heritage management frameworks. The course provides a critical introduction to cultural mapping, gender and youth issues in community engagement, poverty alleviation and Millennium Development Goals. It also examines the challenges posed by the conflicts between conservation and development, particularly in World Heritage Areas. Continue reading
I discovered a useful website for people interested in migration museums. The website was curated by the joint UNESCO and IOM ‘Migration Museums Intiative’. This is an intiative to foster international co-operation and provide support in the creation of migration museums. The website has links to existing museums and to new museum projects and announces forthcoming exhibitions on the topic.
The Cite nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration, a new museum, cultural and research centre on immigration and diversity will open this summer. In the meantime, check out their website (in French). It contains information about planned conferences and recent publications in the field: